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Mortuary assistant in Samoa struggles with tragedy of children

Kerisimasi Teo
Source: Newsline Samoa

Apia, SAMOA — When mortuary assistant and heath porter, Kerisimasi Teo, started at his new job at the TTM Hospital in Samoa 4 months ago, he never imagined having to deal with the tragedy of children dying every day.

He was slowly settling into his new job when the measles epidemic struck.

Instead of the normal flow of mostly adult bodies, children were being wheeled in daily from the measles.

Behind them would be parents and other family members struggling with their emotions.

“We had to wheel in a different child every day and we are not immune to the tragedy the families are going through at their heartbreaking loss,” Teo looked back at the height of the epidemic.

“There were moments when it was a struggle to breath as we attended to the children.”

Teo and his co-working partner fought to keep their composures as they watched the families become overwhelmed by emotions.

“I look at some of the children and they are no different from mine.  Our family was fortunate not to have anyone with the measles but I personally was in a position to feel the heartbreak at those children who died.”

Read more at Newsline Samoa